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How to Brush your Dog and Cat’s teeth- Tips from your Welland Veterinarian

February 29, 2012

Instituting routine home dental care can significantly reduce the amount of plaque and tartar accumulation your dog or cat develops.  As we’ve read from our previous articles significant plaque and tartar accumulation leads to gingivitis, bad breath and periodontal disease.   At the Main West Animal Hospital in Welland we strongly believe that with some practice all of our pet parents can be taught how to appropriately care for their pet’s teeth at home

Brushing the teeth:

Admittedly, this is not necessarily an easy task for all pets and there are definitely some animals that won’t tolerate brushing. However, if you make the effort at an early age it can become an easy and routine part of caring for your pet.  Routine home care should be started at 4-5 months of age. Depending on the size of your dog or cat  childrens or adult brushes with SOFT bristles can be used.  It is important to make  tooth brushing an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

You can purchase good toothpastes for dogs and cats at our animal hospital in Welland.  Toothpaste is not absolutely necessary for all pets as the mechanical action of brushing alone is responsible for the majority of the benefit of brushing teeth.

Human toothpastes, and other dental products including mouth wash, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide should not he used.  They can make your pet very very ill.

Brushing your dog or cats teeth is very similar to brushing human teeth.  Most of your focus should actually be on the outside edges of the teeth (the sides closest to the cheeks and lips) as the tongue does an excellent job at keeping the inside of teeth fairly clean. Be sure to get to the back of the mouth and brush the molars and premolars.  In our veterinarians’ exerience these teeth are the most common site of advanced periodontal disease.

A good instructional video can be found at the following link: